Anti-feminism tells me that men are better than women. It tells me that women don’t deserve to be paid equally to men. It tells me that God calls men to pastor and preach, but not women. It tells me that women should not be allowed to vote, and that violence and sexual harassment in the workplace are perfectly acceptable. Anti-feminism tells me that marital rape is not actually rape — I mean how could a husband rape his wife if her purpose is to meet his every need? Anti-feminism tells me to disregard Philippians 4:13, because only men can do all things through Christ; after all, a man wrote it.
Basically, you can be one of three things:
- A patriarchist
- A misandrist
- A feminist/egalitarian
A patriarchist believes that men are better than women, a misandrist believes that women are better than men, and a feminist believes that men and women are completely equal. So, when you say, “I’m not a feminist” or “I don’t consider myself to be a feminist,” I hear, “I believe men are better than women” or “I believe women are better than men.”
When a woman denounces feminism because she doesn’t hate men … well, I just assume she’s super confused, because feminism has nothing to do with man-hating. Feminism isn’t about women being better or more powerful than men, it’s simply about men and women having the same opportunities, support, and respect.
I honestly believe that most of these “anti-feminist” women mean no harm, they’re just ignorant. They don’t know about the women that struggled over the past thousands of years, and they don’t care to learn. They are perfectly content reaping the benefits of being a privileged woman in a modern society. They dare not step outside of their own safe bubble to walk a mile in another woman’s shoes, a woman who is still fighting for her own basic human rights.
If you are so against feminism, let your words match your actions and kindly shut your mouth, because feminism is the reason you even have a voice. Without feminism, you wouldn’t be able to write your anti-feminism articles, or post those cutesy anti-feminism memes on your Facebook page. You think that women are seen as objects now? Without feminism, you would literally be owned by your father, husband, or closest male relative. Without feminism, your birth would have been a disappointment to your parents. In fact, in most of Asia, it still would be.
So, before you post another “funny” anti-feminist meme, I encourage you to take five minutes to remember those who came before you. Think of Emily Davison, a feminist who literally died for women’s rights. Think of Alice Paul and Mary Church Terrell, who dedicated their lives to making sure that women would get the right to vote in U.S. elections.
But also think of the millions of women struggling at this very moment. Think of the hundreds of thousands of baby girls aborted in China because their parents prefer to have a male heir. Think of the women in Saudi Arabia that aren’t even allowed to drive cars. Think of the women in the global south where having a miscarriage can cost you 40 years in prison. Think of the women all over the world that are being imprisoned, tortured, and executed for speaking out about women’s rights.
Those “funny” memes might not be so funny after all.
And maybe, despite your hesitations, you are a feminist.